Max J. Friedländer writes that the Master of the Parrot -- so named for the idiosyncratic, exotic birds that often appear in his compositions -- was a contemporary of the likewise anonymous Master of the Female Half-Lengths ('Der Meister mit dem Papagei', Phoebus, 1949, II, pp. 49-54). Both are thought to have been active in Antwerp or possibly Bruges in the 1520s and 1530s. The Master of the Parrot's paintings betray the influence of Italianate artists of the generation following Quinten Metsys and Bernard van Orley who worked in that region, particularly Pieter Coecke van Aelst, in whose workshop he may have trained. The present composition displays many of the characteristics that Friedländer identified as hallmarks of the Master of the Parrot's style. The Magdalene's hands, for instance, which feature long, delicate fingers capped by oval fingernails, attest to the Mannerist taste for elegant body proportions that exceed reality.